Embracing Sweet Moments Before We’re Gone

27 Feb

A sweet moment when chalk let the people of Eagle Rock express themselves

There are these sweet moments in life that we can miss. We’re too worried trying to plan. We’re too busy paying our bills, figuring out where to get the cheapest gas, how to get someone to pay attention to us, what our next career move should be. We’re caught captive in our feelings and our thoughts and they take us to places we never intended to go and meanwhile, life moves on around us. One minute we’re 20 years old, the next, we’re in our 30s and wondering where the time went and wondering how we possibly could have missed it.

 

I’m becomming more and more convinced that we need to embrace the small, sweet moments in our life because soon, we could be gone. All of this could be gone.  Not only could it be, but it will be. I don’t mean to be dramatic, I just actually had it happen to me today. I was thinking about my unexpected weekend. The kind you can’t plan because you’d never be able to due to it’s absurdity. The moments of humor, joy, tears, dodgeball, shock, awe, friendships being defined and redefined, and a hunt to find snow in Los Angeles. I also say this as a chronic worrier. The kind that can get all wrapped up in the details for all the wrong reasons, losing sight of the essentials: like breathing.

 

When I’ve stopped this week to appreciate who I am and that this is my story, my life, I’ve been able to tap into what Rob Bell calls in his recent podcast, Ecclesiastes:Lessons In Vapor Management, “the realm of the uncreated.” I realize that joy is all around me. So is calm. Peace. I can’t create joy. I can’t create peace. I’ve bought into this myth that I can get a prescription to happiness. The thing is, I already have joy around me. I have so much to be thankful for! This day is a gift. My friends are a gift. My life, my job, even things that I complain about… those are gifts. I act like I’m owed them by God. I act like I’m entitled to this amazing life.  But I don’t want a “joy based in outcomes, on control, or circumstances.” I want a joy that is here NOW. I don’t want to wait for joy and I don’t have to wait for it! It’s here!

 

I took a sweet moment to enjoy this spot by the river on a camping trip in 2009.

It’s at Rite Aid smelling all the different kinds of candles with my friends, as I try to choose the scent that I want to fill my room (lemongrass). It’s making eggs and burning the bacon. It’s listening to Bob Marley on a Sunday morning. It’s planning a hasty Oscar watching party for people. It’s texting my brother and telling him I love him. It’s outside. It’s inside of me. It’s all around me. God gave me breath. I remember that time when I was five and I had a terrible asthma attack and my dad had to take me to urgent care because my mom wasn’t home. I literally couldn’t breathe and was turning blue. When the doctors opened up bronchial passages with medicine, I understood again. I stopped taking breath for granted.

 

But we forget. How soon we forget and we get wrapped up in our problems. Rob Bell says:

“For many, it’s a search –trying to find IT. Build, strive, achieve, accomplish. But I guarantee you the people you most respect, the people you most admire, the people you most want to be like — they aren’t people who are endlessly trying to prove, build, achieve, toil. They are people who’s toil, achievements, accomplishments, all fit under a larger thing.  They understand it’s under the sun. They have received a gift first and foremost. And so it all becomes an expression of that joy.”

 

I want my life to be that. An expression of joy. I want it to come out of this place of thankfulness. I am paying attention to what I strive for, why, and the feelings that are associated with that striving. I’m choosing joy yet again. Because it’s already here!!! It’s already here.

 

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